We are in the middle of a crazy adventure. I’m talking 30 days, over 3000 miles in a minivan, with extended stays at hotels and campsites kind of crazy adventure.
Right now we are spending three days in my least favorite city. We are here because the hotels are cheap, and we needed to catch up on laundry and finish some work projects in order to fund the rest of our adventure.
This post is not about how much I don’t like this city. In fact, I won’t even tell you what city it is. But I will say this – I don’t care how many twinkling lights the city has, I think it’s lame that we can’t walk anywhere as a family because the streets are lined with pornography. We are seriously spending our time chilling in our room or swimming in order to keep our kidlets from getting an education they don’t need to have. I had heard what this city was like, but I thought it was just on that one particular strip of road. I thought that by staying away from that area would be fine.
Anyway, as I said, this post is not about this city or the fact that what happens here most definitely doesn’t stay here.
This post is about something that happened with my daughter last night.
Last night she was being what we like to call “a nugget”.
She had been reprimanded, toys had been taken away, and I had even used the go-to that is used by all parents traveling with children: the threat of no swimming.
Eventually the nuggetness stopped, and she tried to get to sleep. But as I was folding up all of the laundry that we had accumulated during our recent seven-night stay at a campsite, I noticed that she was just watching me.
She wasn’t smiling. She wasn’t pouting. She was just watching.
After a few minutes I realized that she wanted to make sure that things were okay between us, but she was also honoring my request (order) to “not say another word.”
And so I winked at her.
And that was all it took. Her face lit up, she flashed her missing-tooth smile, rolled over, and fell fast asleep.
And I realized just how important it is to remind my children that I love them, even when they’re being nuggets.
When David and I got married, we vowed to never go to bed angry. And after 15+ years, we have kept that vow. Granted, this has made for some very late nights, but it works for us.
I confess, though, I don’t always show the same commitment to resolving things with my kids. There have been times when the last thing they get from me before they sleep is a reprimand. In the morning we always have a fresh start, but I wonder if they wouldn’t sleep just a bit better knowing that that things are alright with me.
And so that is what I am going to commit to – to applying Ephesians 4:26-27 as literally with my children as I do with my husband.
See? Something good did come from this miserable city. And all it took was a wink.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27
See you soon!